26/01/2007

Adams issues plea for policing

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has appealed to nationalists and republicans to sign up to new policing structures in a bid to allow the current political process to move forward.

The plea was made in a four-page insert, which was published in a number of Northern Ireland's newspapers.

However, Mark Durkan, the leader of the rival nationalist party, the SDLP, who have been supporting policing structures for the past five-years, also published a letter urging Sinn Fein to not only get involved, but also to be honest with party supporters.

Commenting ahead of Sinn Fein's special policing conference in Dublin, which is to be held on Sunday, Mr Adams said that Sinn Fein's main objective – to achieve a united Ireland, has not changed.

He said: "We support civic policing through a police service, which is representative of the community it serves, free from partisan political control and democratically accountable.

"This week's report into the killing of Raymond McCord Jnr is further evidence of collusion and the subversion of policing by sinister elements. This has to be stopped.

"Sinn Fein is about delivering fair, impartial and effective delivery of the rule of law. What we don't support, and what we will never allow to happen again, is repressive, sectarian and political policing."

This Sunday's meeting will see Sinn Fein meet in Dublin to make a decision on whether or not to change their policy on policing and openly pledge their support to the PSNI.

Since the beginning of the process, the Democratic Unionist Party has said that they will only enter into a devolved government with Sinn Fein if the republican party pledged their allegiance to the police force, the courts and the rule of law.

However, republican's are still not convinced that the DUP are willing to share power.

(EF)

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